… by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor
This is the northern flank of Aleppo. At the top, the destroyed Handarat Palestinian camp is in Syrian hands now after a second assault. The orange band triangle with the camp at the top indicates the areas now being pressured by the Syrian army to push the jihadis out of the greenish area in the center triangle.
The three orange flags in the yellowish center section outline the Kurdish section of town, with the major north-south road going up the center. Over to the left, the Castello road goes NE and then west and then SE, looking like a mountain outline. The Sryians are fighting to make this a secure supply road for the NW and N side of the city, so they want to push the Jihadis out of the green area, where they can have observed fire over the road.
The Syrian units are pressing from the right to encourage the jihadis to retreat before they might be cut off. The smaller pockets can be compacted into a better target for the Syrian air power. The plan is to get them to want to retreat to the built area on the right side where them have more cover.
Then if you will swing back to the left flank, you will see the two black al-Nusra flags close to the Castello Road, clearly having it under fire. The Syrians will need to push the Jihadis further east to be able to move any transports, with the next step to push them back further out of mortar range.
We had the story yesterday about the new longer range Katushya rockets, which could cause havoc if they are able to set up and fire their salvos unmolested. It will be the Russian air force’s job to keep enough drones in the air to give enough warning to hit the rocket positions before they can fire.
As this northern pocket of jihadis is pushed SW into the city, the perimeter the Syrians are fighting on will shrink, allowing units to be shifted around into a new attack, which gives them the advantage, including being able to rest combat troops by rotating them, having some resting as a reserve in case of jihadi counter attacks.
To not have this battle drag out for months, these retreating Jihadi units need to sustain some significant casualties, or they will make it back into the built-up area and more defensible positions. And mauled units retreating back weaken the fighting morale of those in the rear areas, worrying about what is coming their way.
To my astonishment, Damascus is still offering all the fighters in Aleppo a chance to walk out, including the foreigners. This will come back to haunt them, as these will be the terrorists wreaking havoc after there is a peace deal, and they go underground to fight another day.
I am trying to hunt good Aleppo combat footage. Found one 12 minute one tonight showing the jihadis with a lot of kids fighting, later teens, early 20s for most of them. They also move fast, almost at a full run. The Syrians have a lot of men in their 30’s, and they are not shouting religious slogans constantly.
We are seeing a lot of wasted lives here, that could have been more productive. But none of them created the circumstances for this. They got sucked into it like tornadoes devour a house. They don’t ask for permission to do it.